"Is Virginia the true motherland of Southern barbecue? If you want to say it isn't, you should be prepared to go toe-to-toeand footnote-to-footnotewith Joseph Haynes, author of Virginia Barbecue: A History. Across 236 exhaustively documented pages (another 42 of notes), Haynes lays out the historical foundations supporting his argument that "the only unbroken line of Southern barbecue history begins in Virginia." ~Caroline Kettlewell, Virginia Living
It's hard not to conjure up Don Quixote when considering Joe Haynes. Like the famous fictional character who went into the Spanish countryside in a quest to right wrongs, Haynes has traveled the hills and valleys of Virginia to right the wrong he believes has been done to the state's barbecue...Haynes is a friendly guy whose book, with 42 pages of citations, is as deeply researched as any barbecue book I've read. When he talks, Haynes personifies his book, going deep into a given subject, from the Powhatan connection to slavery's influence. You can practically see the references circling his balding head.
You say it's just something you came up with, but I could trace the ingredients in that sauce all the way back," Haynes says. "The ginger, for example. And the Worcestershire.?.?. ."
He's off on another discourse.
Perhaps Haynes can convince the world that Virginia barbecue is the once and future king. Perhaps his quest is quixotic. Either way, it's worth taking a drive around the Virginia countryside to tilt at a few barbecue stands before deciding for yourself.
"Author Joseph R. Haynes is poised to stoke the fires (and potentially the ires) of barbecue connoisseurs throughout the South with the publication last week of his new book, Virginia Barbecue: A History (The History Press, 2016). Haynes is not shy about staking his claim for Virginia 'cue, even writing that our vinegar-based sauce tradition is older than North Carolina'sa contention with which we in the Old Dominion are certainly proud to concur, but suspect might find objection from our Southern neighbors.Virginia Living
"It's hard not to conjure up Don Quixote when considering Joe Haynes. Like the famous fictional character who went into the Spanish countryside on a quest to right wrongs, Haynes has traveled the hills and valleys of Virginia to right the wrong he believes has been done to the state's barbecue.
"Virginia doesn't get its due," says Haynes. "Virginia, not that long ago, was one of the nation's great barbecue destinations."
A mild-mannered technology consultant by day, Haynes, 54, is on a mission to save Virginia barbecue from obscurity. In 2016, he got the Virginia General Assembly to designate May through October as Virginia Barbecue Season. He runs a blog called Obsessive Compulsive Barbecue that's heavy on Virginia tidbits. He's trying to market three Virginia-style sauces that he developed. And this week saw the arrival of his book, "Virginia Barbecue: A History" (Arcadia Publishing).
In it, he argues that Southern barbecue grew out of Virginia barbecue, which developed not from the Caribbean, as is often contended, but from the Powhatan Indian technique of slow-cooking foods above smoldering coals. Some seasonings, such as vinegar and salt, came from European settlers, while Haynes credits African slaves with using more complex flavorings." Salisbury News
"If you like barbecue, then this is the book for you. If you don't like barbecue, but like history, then this is the book for you. If you are just interested in what barbecue is all about, then this is the book for you." The Daily Press